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Open Access Publications from the University of California


Himalayan Linguistics is a free peer-reviewed web journal and archive devoted to the study of the languages of the Himalayas. It includes the series Languages and Peoples of the Eastern Himalayan Region, which incorporates the North East Indian Linguistics (NEIL) volumes.

Himalayan Linguistics

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Darai verb agreement

Darai, an Indo-Aryan language of Nepal, displays interactions of person, number, gender, honorifics, and case in its verb agreement system. Darai verbs not only agree with the subject in person, number, gender and case but also with the subject and objects simultaneously in transitive and ditransitive verbs. Moreover, like some other Indo-Aryan languages, such as Maithili (Yadav 1997 [1996]; Yadava 1999), and Rajbanshi (Wilde 2008), Darai shows agreement with the genitive modifier rather than the head noun. Furthermore, the verbs also agree with the dative subject. In addition to the above patterns, verb agreement is complex and is also controlled by the pragmatic status of information. Thus, the selection of agreement markers is triggered not only by certain syntactic constructions but also by pragmatic factors. Darai shares a number of agreement patterns with its Indo-Aryan neighbours, whereas other patterns are specific to Darai. The agreement patterns discussed in this article will be useful in analyses of agreement in other Indo-Aryan languages.

Raji Orthography Development

Raji is a little known tribal community whose descendants are the prehistoric Kiratas. They live in dense forests far away from the surrounding Kumauni villages of Pithoragarh district, in the state of Uttarakhand, India. In 2001 census their population was reported to be 680 in all the nine villages. Sir George Grierson, in his book ‘Linguistic Survey of India’ had named this language as ‘janggali which has only spoken form.' Following the framework established by Wurm and the stages of threatenedness discussed in Fishman’s GIDS, Raji can be assessed as ‘potentially endangered andat stage 6 (language) which means the language is at risk.’ While chalking out a revitalization programme for this oral language the author realized the need of orthography development for this language. It is an established fact that Orthography gives stability to a language and not only conserves it but also helps in its standardization. So after preparing a small grammar book, with the help of collected phonologicaland grammatical material of Raji the next important task before the researcher was to develop an orthography system. The present paper focuses on the early stages of orthography development for this previously undocumented indigenous language.

Outline of Chocha-Ngacha

This paper is the first attempt to provide the outlines of the Chocha-ngachakha, a Tibetic language spoken in Eastern Bhutan.

This language (particularly the Tokari dialect described here) has preserved many archaic features and can be considered as the 'most archaic Tibetic language' spoken in the southern Himalayas.

the linguistic conservatism of Tsamang Chocha-ngachakha is not confined to phonology but extends to grammar and vocabulary.

The data from Chocha-ngachakha sheds new light on the evolution of the Tibetic family